Healdsburg Wine Country Half Race Recap-Part 1

November 16, 2013

As you may recall, a few weeks ago, I attended the Sonoma wedding of my two friends, Sean and Brittany.  As I was planning my trip (lesson learned from Vancouver), I had an inkling that I would not be running the NYC Marathon.  I thought.. RUNCATION….why not? I started researching and saw that the Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon would be held the morning of the wedding (this is not to be confused with the Healdsburg Half Marathon, which is held a few weeks earlier).

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Logo: Destination Races

I know some of you may think I am nuts, but I’ve done this before (ran the Baltimore Half, then went to Leesburg, VA for a wedding) and it was not that bad.

Packing

I tend to be a packer-procrastinator (anyone else pack 1-2 hours before their flight?).  Because I had to pack for warm/cold temperatures (Sonoma in October can be 70-80 degrees during the day and below 50 during the evenings) + wedding guest attire + running attire, I knew I should be better prepared.

  • Regular clothes for warm and cold weather
  • Casual walking shoes (<3 my flats)
  • Dress for the wedding + shoes + accessories (of course I brought two dresses because I was indecisive)
  • Toiletries and makeup
  • Winesleeve that my friends Kathleen and Mike lent me for any wine purchases
  • Electronics (laptop, camera, headphones, chargers etc)
  • Running gear (tank, crops, Zensah arm sleeves, Timex running watch, Polar heart rate monitor, shotblocks, sneakers, gloves, long sleeve shirt, phone arm band, running socks, Tylenol)

Then my trainer reminded me of this:

  • Foam roller!! (I will post later on how the foam roller has helped me)

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PRO: It fit perfectly in my carry-on size luggage (the roller is 18 inches)

CON: It took up a third of my luggage space

PRO: It required me to pack ONLY what I needed

Traveling

I took Thursday and Friday off from work and booked a flight that would land in San Francisco, CA during the morning.  I left my DC apartment for a 15 minute Uber ride to Reagan National Airport (DCA).  It was 4:30am so lines were light, but I was disappointed I did not get to use the TSA Pre-Check line (I think it opened around 6-6:30am).

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Logo: TSA

For those of you not familiar with Pre-Check, it “allows select frequent flyers of participating airlines and members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler programs who are flying on participating airlines, to receive expedited screening benefits.”  These benefits include:

  • Dedicated screening lines
  • Leaving on shoes, light outwear and belts
  • Leaving laptop and compliant liquids in carry-on bags

I had eligibility because I’ve been cleared for CBP’s Global Entry program.

One risk I took when booking my flight was the 1 hour layover in Charlotte, NC.  We boarded the plane without issue and started taxiing away from the gate.  I thought, “SCORE! I will not miss my connecting flight!”…. five minutes later the plane stopped then turned around back towards the gate.  Apparently one of the indicator lights was not turning on and it had to be check.  At that time we were already running 30 minutes behind.  Because the probability of missing my connecting flight was high and I’ve watched my fair share of Amazing Race, I immediately went on my phone (yayy technology) to check when the next flight out of Charlotte to San Francisco would be.  I called the US Airways reservation line and I was able to get the last available seat on the next flight!  The indicator light was fixed, and off we went! 

Exploring Wine Country

I arrived in San Francisco two hours later than initially scheduled, so I had to revise my itinerary.  I hopped into my rental car (black Jetta ftw!) and headed towards Napa!

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Wine country here I come!

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One of many incredible views while driving.

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First stop-Domaine Carneros Winery!

Knowing my love for champagne and sparkling wine, my good friend/old roommate Rachel recommended I try Domaine Carneros.  Located in Napa Valley, this winery is approximately 1 hour from San Francisco.  The Chateau is perched on a hill overlooking miles and miles of vineyards.

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Enjoying the Sparkling Flight!

The weather was perfect, service was great and I spent the remainder of the afternoon enjoying this view before heading to my hotel.

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Part 2 to come!

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